Custodial staff prioritize under Confluence standards


A view of the window sill from the third floor looking down.

Jackson Wild , Contributing Writer

Recently, some have began to question the ability of students and janitorial staff to take care of the school’s trash. It piles up on the windowsills, bathrooms, in classrooms and in hallways; it can blow in from the courtyard or be dropped down five flights of stairs to splatter on walls, floors, or students.

All this trash means a lot of work for the custodial staff. Director of Operations, John Klein, said that at the beginning of each year, teachers and staff get together and “formulate” what jobs they want the custodial staff in the building to perform. This system, however, prioritizes some custodial duties over others.

“So if I was to be in a different district, there would be five people who do what I do,” Klein said. “But I am one person who does all of those things for our school system. So some folks in traditional schools are used to the custodians because they have four or five during the day, so they’ve always got someone to carry boxes and stuff like that. When I’ve only got two, we have to kinda put a little limit on that. I can’t have them carrying boxes and paper.”

Another issue that came up frequently during interviews with teachers was the students ability to reduce the custodians work load by taking care of their trash instead of leaving it for others to take clean up.

“A lot of the kids seem to be a little bit disrespectful of the environment,” Kelly Hougland, long-term sub for physics teacher Alicia Dunn said. “ I’ve had students spill a pint of milk on the floor and then just leave. The custodial staff is given a lot to do and in a lot of places the students aren’t doing their part to help as well,”

High school health and P.E. teacher Alex Rearick sums up this idea.

“If you leave it better than you found it, then it’s gonna be better for the next generation, or the next class or the next student,” Rearick said. 

Because of the contract GCAA has with the current custodial company, there are no scheduled future changes to the amount of resources given towards janitorial services.

“It is a contracted service,” Klein said. “So it will have the same level and scope as it is right now for next year.”

*Editor’s note: Jackson Wild, freshman, took the Foundations of Journalism course and his story was selected to be published.*